We all know Johann Sebastian Bach as one of the master of classical music, but I didn’t know he had a funny side!
I read today on UpWorthy that Bach actually wrote an entire 25-minute long cantata about a women being obsessed with coffee! The plot revolves around a father who is irate that his daughter is so preoccupied (dependent? addicted?) with coffee that she won’t do anything else, including take a husband (hey…the 1700s…what are ya gonna do?).
It’s all in German, naturally, but you can listen to what it sounded like with English subtitles at the bottom of this page. Honestly, this very well could have been written today when you read the lyrics translated into English…it’s pretty awesome. If you want a giggle, read through the lyrics…I’m sure if you are a coffee fan, you’ll be able to relate!
Keep quiet, don’t chatter
and hear what’s going on now:
Here comes Herr Schlendrian
with his daughter Liesgen.
He’s growling like a honey-bear –
hear for yourselves what she has done to him.
Schlendrian (The Father):
Don’t we have with our children
a hundred thousand muddles!
What always every day I
say to my daughter Liesgen
goes in one ear and out the other.
You bad child, you wild girl!
Oh! If only I could have my way:
Get rid of coffee!
Liesgen (The Daughter):
Father, don’t be so hard!
If three times a day I can’t
drink my little cup of coffee,
then I would become so upset
that I would be like a dried up piece of roast goat.
Ah! how sweet coffee tastes!
Lovelier than a thousand kisses,
smoother than muscatel wine.
Coffee, I must have coffee,
and if anyone wants to give me a treat,
ah!, just give me some coffee!
If you don’t give up coffee,
you won’t be going to any wedding
and you won’t go out walking either.
Just leave me my coffee!
(I’ll get the little minx now!)
I shan’t get you the latest fashion in just your size.
I can easily do without that.
You’re not to stand at the window
and you won’t see anyone going by!
I don’t mind that either; but please, I beg you,
just let me keep my coffee!
What’s more you won’t get from me
a silver or gold ribbon
to put on your bonnet!
That’s fine! Just leave me my pleasure!
You’re impossible Liesgen, you are,
you would give up everything I say?
(Girls with obstinate minds
are not easily won over.
But if you hit the right spot,
oh then you’re in luck.)
Now follow what your father says!
In everything else, but not coffee.
Well then! You must get used to the idea
that you won’t have a husband either.
Oh yes! Father, a husband!
I swear, that won’t happen.
Until I can give up coffee?
Right! Coffee, remain forever untouched.
Father, listen, I won’t drink any at all.
Then you’ll have a husband!
This very day,
dear father, do it now!
Ah, a husband!
That’s just right for me!
If only it could happen at once,
so that at last instead of coffee
before I go to bed
I could get a lusty lover!
Now old Schlendrian goes off and looks out
for his daughter Liesgen
to see if he can get her a husband soon.
But Liesgen lets it be secretly known:
‘No suitor of mine should come to the house
unless he himself has promised
and it is written also in the marriage contract
that I shall be permitted
to make coffee whenever I want.’
The cat does not leave the mouse,
young ladies remain coffee addicts.
The mother loves her cup of coffee,
the grandmother drank it also.
Who can blame the daughters!